Think The Audit is brilliant? I’m not. Someone smarter than I am called with the idea. But he wasn’t the only one who’s been thinking about the question, which has come up periodically over the years. (see: “Dow Jones Dividends Questioned,” The Washington Post, March 12, 1997)


In fact, check out this guy quoted last Friday in The New York Times, talking about Dow Jones.


“A year ago, they made $81 million after tax and paid $80 million in dividends,” he said, “and you can’t grow a company that way.”


The speaker? Rupert Murdoch.


Crikey, Bruce! Blow that out your didgeridoo. But what’s the lesbian angle, mate?


By the way, the Times’s parent, of which I own 100 shares at $35, has raised its dividend 39 percent since last year. And while Times company spokeswoman Catherine Mathis argues that shareholders in mature industries need to be rewarded for their patience, The Audit says: the clock is ticking

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.